By Melody Carlson
(WaterBrook Press, Paperback, 9781578568406, 336pp.)
Publication Date: October 19, 2004
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A Son’s Addiction. A Mother’s Heartbreak. A Family’s Crisis.
As the wife of a prominent city attorney and the mother of two teenage children on the brink of adulthood, Glennis Harmon lives the kind of successful, high-profile life that many people envy. But when nineteen-year-old Jacob is drawn into substance abuse, Glennis’ “perfect” world shatters like a crystal vase rocked from its once-steady shelf.
Glennis struggles to understand the response of her family as they seek to support Jacob’s recovery. Her husband appears more concerned with protecting his image than with finding help for their troubled son, but Glennis becomes determined to save Jacob no matter what the cost. Stepping into a rescuer role, she unintentionally puts her relationship with her older daughter, Sarah, and her already strained marriage on the line–and a revelation about her husband will push her to the brink of what she can bear.
How far should a mother go to save her child?
A compelling, compassionate, and ultimately hopeful novel about the impact of substance abuse and addiction, Crystal Lies is an intimate portrayal of one mother’s attempt to simultaneously love, trust, and let go.
Melody Carlson has published over ninety books for adults, children, and teens, and has been a winner and finalist of numerous writing awards. The mother of two grown sons, she lives in Central Oregon with her husband.
“Raw, real, and provocative, Crystal Lies thrusts us into a world inhabited by more people than we may realize on the surface. This account of one mother’s struggle for the healing of her drug-addicted son speaks to anyone who has ever loved anyone else. Melody Carlson never fails to drag us out of our Christian easychairs and right into the coals of the confusing culture in which we all find ourselves. She never fails to reveal that place of compassion within each of us. Excellent.”
–Lisa Samson, author of The Church Ladies and Tiger Lillie
“As an addiction specialist, I was moved by Crystal Lies. With great confidence, I can say that Melody Carlson’s story will enlighten, encourage, and empower you. Read this book; walk through its pages toward healthy God-directed relationships.”
–Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Counseling & Health Resources, Inc.
“An honest, doesn’t-pull-any-punches, look at the reality of addiction and codependency in Christian families. Told in Carlson’s adept style, this is a novel that will lead readers into the light of a powerful God who stands firm and loves beyond all measure and who delights in meeting His children inside the world’s most impenetrable, convoluted issues. I found myself praying Carlson’s prayers over my own children as I lay in bed. Read, enjoy, and–most important–pass this along to everyone you know who is struggling with addiction.”
–Deborah Bedford, author of If I Had You, Just Between Us and When You Believe
“‘Crystallize: to coat with sugar. To give a definite and permanent form.’ So says the American Heritage Dictionary. Melody Carlson’s Crystal Lies creates a permanent image of a family in pain and the various ways they chose to sugar coat their lives rather than face it. We are this family, whether touched by methamphetamine use, alcohol addiction, super-perfection and adultery or not. We are this family because we avoid, separate, pretend blindness, live inside fogs of drugs or denial because to face the pain alone is just too great. What Melody reveals through her crisp yet tender words is that we are not alone even when we separate ourselves. God has chosen to bring each of us closer. We are given the gift of hope and the definite and permanent form of God’s love to take us through the lies, the pain and disappointment into a steadied peace. Melody’s Crystal Lies is brilliant. Her best.”
–Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of The Tender Ties series
“Melody Carlson knows addiction is an issue that affects not only addicts, but their families, their friends, their associates. And she shows that, when the addict is a believer, addiction affects the body of Christ. Crystal Lies is a wonderful lesson, taught the way Jesus taught–in story. I recommend it especially to those of us who have thought we were being charitable when we looked at those marginalized by addiction and thought, ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’ Carlson's highly personable prose puts that viewpoint on its ear, and teaches us to see it as, ‘Here we are together, in need of God's grace.’ Crystal Lies is clearly truth–revealed in fiction.”
– Tom Morrisey, author of Yucatan Deep and Turn Four
“Crystal Lies pulls no punches about the emotional devastation caused by addictions, and yet offers beautiful, accessible hope. Having been through the turmoil of addictive behavior in my own family, I wept with both the agony and the joy of what I read. Don't miss this book!”
– Janelle Burnham Schneider, author of “From Carriage to Marriage” in the Brides for a Bit anthology and “A Distant Love” in the Christmas Duty anthology